What does harsh mean?

Definitions for harsh

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word harsh.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. harsh, roughadjective

    unpleasantly stern

    "wild and harsh country full of hot sand and cactus"; "the nomad life is rough and hazardous"

  2. harshadjective

    disagreeable to the senses

    "the harsh cry of a blue jay"; "harsh cognac"; "the harsh white light makes you screw up your eyes"; "harsh irritating smoke filled the hallway"

  3. coarse, harshadjective

    of textures that are rough to the touch or substances consisting of relatively large particles

    "coarse meal"; "coarse sand"; "a coarse weave"

  4. harsh, roughadjective

    unkind or cruel or uncivil

    "had harsh words"; "a harsh and unlovable old tyrant"; "a rough answer"

  5. harshadjective


    "a harsh penalty"

  6. harsh, abrasiveadjective

    sharply disagreeable; rigorous

    "the harsh facts of court delays"; "an abrasive character"


  1. harshverb

    To negatively criticize.

    Quit harshing me already, I said that I was sorry!

  2. harshverb

    to put a damper on (a mood).

    Dude, you're harshing my buzz.

  3. harshadjective

    Unpleasantly rough to the touch or other senses.

  4. harshadjective

    Severe or cruel.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. HARSHadjective

    Etymology: hervische, German, Skinner.

    Our nature here is not unlike our wine;
    Some sorts, when old, continue brisk and fine:
    So age’s gravity may seem severe,
    But nothing harsh or bitter ought t’ appear. John Denham.

    Sweet, bitter, sour, harsh and salt, are all the epithets we have to denominate that numberless variety of relishes. John Locke.

    The same defect of heat which gives a fierceness to our natures, may contribute to that roughness of our language, which bears some analogy to the harsh fruit of colder countries. Jonathan Swift, to the Lord High Treasurer.

    A name unmusical to Volscian ears,
    And harsh in sound to thine. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Age might, what nature never gives the young,
    Have taught the smoothness of thy native tongue;
    But satire needs not that, and wit will shine
    Through the harsh cadence of a rugged line. Dryden.

    The unnecessary consonants made their spelling tedious, and their pronunciation harsh. Dryden.

    Thy lord commands thee now
    With a harsh voice, and supercilious brow,
    To servile duties. John Dryden, Pers. Sat. 5.

    He was a wise man and an eloquent; but in his nature harsh and haughty. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

    Bear patiently the harsh words of thy enemies, as knowing that the anger of an enemy admonishes us of our duty. Taylor.

    No harsh reflection let remembrance raise;
    Forbear to mention what thou can’st not praise. Matthew Prior.

    A certain quickness of apprehension inclined him to kindle into the first motions of anger; but, for a long time before he died, no one heard an intemperate or harsh word proceed from him. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Black feels as if you were feeling needles points, or some harsh sand; and red feels very smooth. Robert Boyle, on Colours.

    With eloquence innate his tongue was arm’d;
    Though harsh the precept, yet the preacher charm’d. Dryd.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Harshadjective

    rough; disagreeable; grating

  2. Harshadjective

    disagreeable to the touch

  3. Harshadjective

    disagreeable to the taste

  4. Harshadjective

    disagreeable to the ear

  5. Harshadjective

    unpleasant and repulsive to the sensibilities; austere; crabbed; morose; abusive; abusive; severe; rough

  6. Harshadjective

    having violent contrasts of color, or of light and shade; lacking in harmony

  7. Etymology: [OE. harsk; akin to G. harsch, Dan. harsk rancid, Sw. hrsk; from the same source as E. hard. See Hard, a.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Harsh

    härsh, adj. rough: bitter: jarring: abusive: severe: unkind.—v.t. Harsh′en, to render harsh.—adv. Harsh′ly.—n. Harsh′ness. [M. E. harsk, a northern word; cf. Sw. härsk and Dan. harsk, rancid, Ger. harsch, hard.]

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'harsh' in Adjectives Frequency: #687

How to pronounce harsh?

How to say harsh in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of harsh in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of harsh in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of harsh in a Sentence

  1. Carole Ghosn:

    I am pleading with The Japanese authorities to provide us with any information at all about my husband's health, we are fearful and very worried his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment.

  2. Ramsey County:

    I'm not going to continue to perpetuate these unjust practices, these police practices, that have really harsh results to our community, we really need to start thinking about the actual negative impact this has with police and community relationships and the outright racial disparity is telling by looking at the numbers.

  3. R Chamberlain:

    Harsh reproof is like a violent storm, soon washed down the channel; but friendly admonitions, like a small shower, pierce deep, and bring forth better reformation.

  4. Sipho P Nkosi:

    The only time life become harsh to us, is when we allow it.

  5. Bezalel Smotrich:

    It is permissible to protest, to shout and to say harsh words, and not every harsh word is incitement. It is not the harsh words that caused the prime minister’s murder — it was a despicable murderer in Yigal Amir.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for harsh

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    actively or fully engaged or occupied
    • A. tight
    • B. obnoxious
    • C. busy
    • D. blistering

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